Sunday, 30 November 2008

It's beginning to feel...

I've been working hard on finishing some UFOs before the turn of the year and radio iodine treatment. The first one I wanted to get done was the Christmas quilt I saw in a magazine last year. It was designed to be assmebled in wiggly rows, then turned through 60° and cut into a large rectangle. Hhmmm! I really don't have floor space big enough to be able to do that, so I unpicked some of the shorter rows, and re stitched them so I've got a rectangle. It's big enough to cover our king size bed, but we'll be using it as a snuggle quilt for the lounge.

I was going to go for a totally scrappy look, but in the end decided to stick to a red and white colour scheme, with one stripe of green.

I bought some muticoloured thread from our new Hobbycraft store which I'm planning to quilt it with. I'm not sure whether to go for straight lines (contrasts with the wiggles of the quilt, but boring to sew) or to use a pre-programmed stitch on the machine and do wiggly lines down the centre of each wide stripe. Decisions decisions.

I finished darning the ends of Ben's quilt in this afternoon as well, so it's all wrapped and ready for the tree. I've not done a label yet, but I'll practice on some scrap fabric before doing the real one.

Finally, my BQL list Secret Santa present arrived. I've been a good girl and put it on top of my wardrobe until the big day.

Monday, 24 November 2008

More thyroid news.

Backdate to early November.

I went in to the local hospital on November 11th for my thyroidectomy. This is the first stage of my cancer treatment, and will be followed in January by a dose of radioactive iodine. I was told to be at the clinic to see the surgeon at 7.45am, but didn't go down to theatre until gone 1pm.

I was back on the ward around 4.30pm with an IV drip, morphine pump and a drain. Dreadful night's sleep, every time anyone came in the bay, I woke up, couldn't get comfy due to wires and tubes and the staff having to wake me for post op obs. Mike came in to see my in the early part of the evening but I know I slept through his visit.

I was reviewed by the surgical team on the Wedesday who took bloods for calcium levels as I was getting pins and needles in both hands and around my lips. No chance of discharge on Wednesday but if the drain reduced the amount of fluid being collected each hour, I could go on Thursday. Drips and morphine taken out mid morning and I was able to get dressed and start moving a bit. The drain came with me in my back pocket! Eventually it came out shortly before the family visited me.

Once I was free of tubes, the worst thing was the boredom! I read 2 books, magazines and played online. I'd forgotten how much I treasure my ability to be active! Now I'm back home, all I want to do is sleep! I spent the first 2 weeks lounging and being incapable of any housework or anything really. Now I'm gradually able to do more, but typically I'm pushing myself to do more, so I'm even more wiped out!

Getting better slowly now though!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Birthday, mud and cakes!

Backdate this one to the 8th/9th November.

We'd decided to race the Sodbury Slog way, way back in February. We'd heard it's a great race and a big gathering for people from the running forum we're both members of. The race itself is around 9 1/2 miles, but the key word in the title is SLOG. There's only about 1 mile on tarmac, the rest is through ploughed fields, rivers and slurry. Now I know it's strange, but I really enjoy doing off road races, the muddier the better. I think it's because I reason to myself that the faster runners are slowed down by the conditions, but being a plodder, they won't affect me!

We got to our pub in Yate, a mile from Chipping Sodbury, and settled in, then walked into CS to recce the race HQ and pubs. Back to our pub for a couple of pints, then back to town to meet up with TP and ST. Lots of girly gossip, and then met with JW who helps organise the race, and some of his mates. All to a steakhouse, then pub until chucking out time. I was so busy having a good time, I forgot about running with a thick head the next day.

TP and ST presented me with a tiara to wear as a Mudhoney, and they both raced in stripy fingerless gloves! The race starts after a short service of Remembrance and all the runners are asked to wear poppies. The first mud bath came after about 2 miles, a short queue and plunge in up to our knees. There was a group ahead of me searching for a lost shoe already! There were hay bales to scramble over, a stile, one of the steepest downhills I've run and more mud than I really care to remember.

My favourite bit has to be approaching the final river (not river crossing, we had to run through the river). There were crowds on the banks, so I stopped and told them I'd only go on once they'd sung happy birthday to me. As they got to the name part, I turned to show them KWILTER on my vest and as I turned back, I lost my balance as my feet were buried in mud, and I was up to my knees in fast flowing water. You can see the result for yourselves!

I've no idea how long it took, somewhere close to my half marathon time I think but it was such great fun. We've already booked the hotel for next year!

Once I'd got back and showered we went to the local Italian restaurant that JW had booked and ate roughly our own bodyweight in pasta. Even B was defeated...although to be fair, he did eat half of H's pizza as well as his own pasta. M had brought cake for me, which after we'd cut it into 40 portions gave 3 crumbs each.

Great weekend, great friends and can't wait to do it all again next year

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Ben's quilt

Backdate this one to early October!

I was in Truro in summer to track down some long dead ancestors and once I'd finished at the record office, strolled down into town. I turned onto a street I don't usually use, and imagine the surprise I got as there was a quilt shop there! No honestly I'd had no idea. I knew there was a shop on Lemon Quay but not about this one. I browsed a bit and picked up some black T-o-T to use as the background to a table topper I was making and a roll of black and white batiks for no other reason than I liked them! You see the resolution not to buy more fabric unless it's for something specific? Well it's like the January Pledge where wine used in cooking doesn't count, if I see something I really really like it's allowed. I got them home, and B claimed the batiks. I'd bought a pattern ages ago for a strip club quilt with bright stars in the corners of a block, and he asked for this for Christmas. He picked the BRIGHTEST orange fabric imaginable for the contrast...His quilt, his choice!

While I was at the FoQ, I was led astray by a roll of 6 metres of celery green fabric for a bargain £20, then once at home realised it would be a great backing for this quilt. Ben picked green and blue thread, and I've quilted it by outlining the stars then going inside by 1/4" and outside by 1/4". I copied the star shapes in the blank spaces using the same method and using blue thread on top and green on the bottom, then swapped the threads over and stippled all over the quilt top.

2 months later, I've still got to stitch the ends in, and label it but it's all bound and ready for Christmas.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

New Sewing machine

Backdate this to October 25th!

So DH finally got his terminal gratuity, and I was on my way to the Sewing Machine Shop in Exeter I played on quite a selection the the FoQ waaay back in August, and had set my mind on a Husqvarna Viking. I'd looked at the top of the range model, but was quite happy with the next model down. DH left me and DD in the shop while he and DS went back into the town centre with instructions not to come back until I texted him.

I soon settled down with the mid range model, and got to grips with it quite quickly, most of the functions seemed clear, it was just the normal case of being used to the controls on my old machine. DD was taken upstairs where there was a children's craft club in full session...a great idea, £5 and they get to make mess and create something for 5 hours, lunch included.

Eventually I decided that the mid range would be great for what I needed...however, DH got back just as I was letting the shop know which one I wanted, and told me to get the top of the range model instead :-D Who am I to argue??

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Mass update coming soon

Ooops, I'd not realised it's been such a long time since I last posted. To save having one mahoosive War and Peace sized post, I'm going to post lots of shorter ones over the next few days.

Coming soon: New Sewing Machine!, Operation!, More Quilting!, Race and Social Meeting!, My Birthday!, Driving Test News!